London Ed sends me a puzzle that I will formulate in my own way.
1. Boston's Scollay Square no longer exists. Hence 'Scollay Square no longer exists' is true.
2. Removing 'Scollay Square' from the closed sentence yields the open sentence, or predicate, or sentential function, '____ no longer exists.'
3. If a subject-predicate sentence is true, then its predicate is true of, or is satisfied by, the referent of the sentence's subject term.
4. If x is satisfied by y, then both x and y exist. (Special case of the principle that if x stands in a relation to y, then both relata exist.)
5. What no longer exists, does not exist. (An entailment of presentism.)
6. The referent of 'Scollay Square' does not exist. (from 1 and 5)
7. The referent of 'Scollay Square' exists. (from 1, 3, and 4)
How do we avoid the contradiction? As far as I can see we have exactly three options. The first is to posit an haecceity property that individuates Scollay Square across all possible worlds, and then construe the original sentence as saying, of that haecceity property, that it is no longer instantiated. Thus the original sentence is not about Scollay Square, which does not exist, but about an ersatz item, an abstract deputy that does exist., and indeed necessarily exists. About this ersatz item we say that it now fails of instantiation. The second option is to reject the principle that if a relation obtains between x and y, then both x and y exist. One might say that past objects are Meinongian nonexistent objects. The third option is to reject presentism and say that what no longer exists exists alright, it just doesn't exist now. (Analogy: the cat that is no longer in my lap exists alright, it just doesn't exist here.)
None of these options is palatable. I should like London Ed to tell me which he favors. Or does he see another way out?